Tag Archives: hiring

Community Manager / Social Media Jobs are Still Hot

ReadWriteWeb’s Jobwire site has been keeping up with who is being hired, while many other sites are focused on layoffs and the downturn. It’s exciting to see them publish their numbers showing that people are still hiring community managers and social media specialists.

I’ve been seeing a similar trend anecdotaly, and so far at least, I’m still getting clients who want me to consult with them to help build online communities, new blogs, or improve their social media presence.

They have some other data available in their full post, which you should take the time to read. It’s just nice to see a little good news about people getting jobs now and then.

How to Get a Community Manager Job

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a similar post, but from the opposite side: Hiring a Community Manager. This week, I’ve received emails from several people asking about how they can become an online community manager. I thought it would be a good idea to write this post for people who want to be hired into their first community manager job.

Start by reading the Hiring a Community Manager post. It has many links to blogs about online community management, the role of the community manager, community research, job boards focused on community manager positions, and much more. It will also give you insight into the thinking that employers might be doing when selecting a community manager.

There are a few things that you can do to build your expertise in community management to improve your chances of getting hired. They fall into 3 main areas.

  1. Participate. You can build a lot of expertise by participating in existing online communities as a user. Find something that you are passionate about (restaurant reviews, happy hours, guitars, underwater basket weaving, whatever), and find a community of people with similar passions. Participate in a couple of these communities, and post regularly. Use the experience as a member to see what works well and what doesn’t, and think about how you would make the community better if you were responsible for it.
  2. Share Knowledge. Take what you have learned and share it with other people. Start a blog that is focused on community management, and share what you are learning. Do research on other communities and blog about what you find. If you want to expand out past writing, you could do video / audio podcasts or other various methods to communicate about what you have learned. When you begin interviewing for community manager jobs, you will have a nice base of information to share with prospective employers, and the blog should have a prominent place on your resume.
  3. Volunteer. Help a local non profit organization build an online community and be the community manager for that new community. This could be an online community of volunteers or an online community related to the purpose of the organization. Nothing demonstrates your abilities as a community manager better than a working example that prospective employees can see in action.

I’ve focused on what I think are the 3 most important things you can do to build your community management skills. Jake McKee has a couple of good posts on this topic as well with a few more ideas, including sample courses for college students to take:

I know that quite a few community managers read this blog. What do you think? Is there something more important than these three things for someone wanting to break into the field? What would you suggest?

Related Fast Wonder Blog posts:

Hiring a Community Manager

Hiring a community manager can be tricky for companies, especially ones filling this position for the first time. Last week, someone told me they wanted to hire a community manager and asked me if I could put together a few resources to help get them started. I thought it would be more useful if I turned my email to him into a blog post so others could benefit from it.

The community manager job itself can be a bit vague, like most leadership positions. The role changes from hour to hour depending on what happens in the community, and the person you hire will play a big part in shaping how your company engages with the outside world. It is important to start by carefully defining your goals for the community along with what you want the new community manager to accomplish.

I’ve written a few blog posts on the topic of community managers including information on what community managers do, the skills required to manage communities, and the various roles that fall under the broad umbrella of community manager:

Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester) and Jake McKee (Community Consultant) also have quite a bit of info about community manager roles & hiring:

The community research being done by ForumOne can also be a very valuable resource for anyone involved in communities. There are also a number of Facebook groups focused on community management, but this one seems to be the most active.

There are also a couple of job boards that focus on hiring community managers and related jobs, the Community Guy job board and the Web Strategy board. These should give you a feel for job descriptions, and they might also be good places to post your job description.

The big question is “how much should I expect to pay this person?” In my experience, salary ranges for community managers vary widely. I’ve seen numbers ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. Community managers for technical communities (developers, etc.) make more than end user, social communities. Salary also changes significantly depending on whether the role is really more low-end, tactical moderation or something more strategic, like building a new community or revitalizing a troubled community site. Job experience, location and how well known the person is can also make a big difference in the salary range.

For more information, you can read blog posts from some great community bloggers. Mukund Mohan has a good list on his Best Engaging Communities site.

I would be curious if any of you have other tips? If so, please drop them here in the comments!